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Houston celebrates 9th Indian Film Festival

IFFH Board Members with the winners of IFFH Awards 2017, Suman Ghosh and Navroz Prasla.

IFFH Board Members with the winners of IFFH Awards 2017, Suman Ghosh and Navroz Prasla.

The 9th Indian Film Festival of Houston (IFFH 2017) captivated festival-goers this past weekend at the Asia Society Texas Center on October 6th and 7th with cinema for the soul and the mind. The Festival showcased 6 films – documentaries, shorts, and feature films, along with Q&A sessions with the directors, actors and producers in Asia Society Texas Center’s state-of-the-art Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater. This year is especially fulfilling coming after the events of Hurricane Harvey that brought out the best on Houston and stands testament to its indefatigable spirit – Houston Great, Texas Proud!
IFFH 2017 captivated festival-goers with emotional tales involving distant poignant memories and tales of endurance, both mental and physical. The 9th Indian Film Festival of Houston welcomed Festivalgoers with tastefully-decorated turquoise draperies at the venue entrance, matching table cloths and colorful floral rangolis. Both evenings featured cocktail receptions, sizzling Indian appetizers by Nirvana and entertainment by Moodafaruka. Indian Film and Television actor, Iqbal Khan, did a fabulous job as the Master of Ceremonies for both the evenings. Among the attendees were several members of Houston’s consular corps, city and state representatives, as well as, Houston’s art and culture community and audience members whose numbers seem to swell each year.

Director Suman Ghosh, Director John Upchurch and Festival Director Sutapa Ghosh (Photos courtesy IFFH)

Director Suman Ghosh, Director John Upchurch and Festival Director Sutapa Ghosh (Photos courtesy IFFH)

Stephanie Todd Wong, Director of Performing Arts and Culture, Asia Society, Leda Burkle, IFFH Board Member, Sutapa Ghosh, Founder and Festival Director, Amey Prakash, IFFH Board President and Rick Ferguson, Executive Director of Houston Film Commission.

Stephanie Todd Wong, Director of Performing Arts and Culture, Asia Society, Leda Burkle, IFFH Board Member, Sutapa Ghosh, Founder and Festival Director, Amey Prakash, IFFH Board President and Rick Ferguson, Executive Director of Houston Film Commission.

Founder and Festival Director, Sutapa Ghosh, welcomed festival -goers to the opening day’s festivities and paid tribute to the spirit of the city, the volunteers, first responders, city, state and federal agencies who worked tirelessly to get Houston open for business. A film professional in her own right, with a couple of award-winning movies with India’s famed director, Rituparno Ghosh, Sutapa reminded the audience that she has enjoyed bringing IFFH to life for the past 9 years and expects that we will see something big for the 10th year. Stay tuned Houston!
City of Houston’s Councilman Michael Kubosh, presented a glowing proclamation on behalf of Mayor Turner, who was out of the country, recognizing IFFH and Sutapa Ghosh for their contribution to the Houston community. The Indian Deputy Consul General Mr. Surendra Adhana thanked the IFFH team for sharing the deep roots of Indian culture in today’s cinema and bringing it to Houston.
The opening night’s feature film “Mango Dreams” with first-time director John Upchurch was a fan favorite and explored the unlikely bond formed between a Hindu doctor with dementia and a Muslim auto rickshaw driver as they cross India in search of the doctor’s childhood home. The closing film “The Argumentative Indian” was a documentary about the life and work of India’s Renaissance Man and Nobel Laureate, Amartya Sen who was widely regarded as one of the greatest living intellectuals of the world. All three of the IFFH 2017 winners dealt with the subject of education and showcased immense personal struggles.
Best Documentary Film: “The Argumentative Indian”, directed by Suman Ghosh
Best Short Film: “Azaad”, directed by Rahul Chittela.
Best Feature Film: “Kshitij: A horizon”, directed by Manouj Kadaamh
IFFH 2017 brought some wonderful soul-stirring films, presented them in a beautiful ambience and provided rich memories. Here’s looking forward to celebrating a decade of the Indian Film Festival in Houston next year.


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